Two Littlestown girls’ basketball seniors earn Gretchen Wolf Swartz scholarships

Rebecca Lanahan and Celi Portillo each earned $27,000 scholarships from the Gretchen Wolf Swartz Scholarship Foundation

Staff Report

The Gretchen Wolf Swartz Scholarship Foundation awarded a pair of $27,000 scholarships to senior members of the Littlestown girls’ basketball program last Thursday night at the school’s annual academic and athletic awards presentation.

Rebecca Lanahan and Celi Portillo each received a scholarship Thursday, bringing the total amount of scholarships awarded by the foundation to $969,000 since its first two scholarships — each for $1,000 — were awarded in 2001.

The Littlestown girls and Northeastern boys were recognized as the Gretchen Wolf Swartz Sportsmanship Team Award winners at the conclusion of this year’s York-Adams League basketball season. As a result, senior players from each program became eligible to apply for scholarships.

Members of the Gretchen Wolf Swartz Scholarship Fund board reviewed scholarship applications and interviewed applicants before determining scholarship winners and award amounts.

Littlestown struggled with participation numbers and finished 2-20 overall and 1-11 in York-Adams Division III this season, but players and coaches continued to keep spirits high throughout the winter. Portillo was one of the league’s top scorers, averaging 12.5 points per game, while Lanahan gave the Thunderbolts an important veteran presence through the season’s ups and downs.

The awards are presented in memory of Gretchen Wolf Swartz, who was a York County basketball official from 1981-95. Following her death from leukemia in 1997, her fellow York County officials created the memorial team awards and scholarship fund to promote and honor the sportsmanship she displayed throughout her playing and officiating careers.

After each York-Adams League basketball season, York area officials vote to honor a boys’ and girls’ program for sportsmanship after observing the season-long conduct of players, fans, faculty, students, managers, coaches, superintendents, ADs and cheerleaders from junior high to varsity. Each winning school receives a traveling trophy in recognition of its accomplishments.

Northeastern’s scholarship winners will be announced Tuesday, May 30.